TULSA, Okla. - A Tulsa soldier killed during an ambush in Afghanistan begins his final journey Thursday morning. The flight returning the remains of Pfc. Jon Townsend will arrive approximately 10:30 a.m. at the QT hangar at Tulsa International airport.
Meanwhile, a Kansas church which has become notorious for its stance that fallen soldiers were killed by God because of America's tolerance of homosexuality plans to picket near the memorial service in Claremore on Friday.
In a statement issued via its website, Westboro writes that "military funerals have become pagan orgies of idolatrous blasphemy, where they pray to the dunghill gods of Sodom & play taps to a fallen fool. This message to be preached in respectful, lawful proximity to the memorial of Pfc. Jon R. Townsend."
Townsend, who was 19, was one of four U.S. soldiers killed in an ambush in Zabul Province, Afghanistan Sept. 19.
The procession carrying his casket will travel from the airport to Highway 66, then east to Claremore.
It's expected to reach Claremore about 11:00 a.m. and proceed east on SH20 to Rice Funeral Services.
Visitation at Rice will take place from 4-8 p.m., with the family receiving visitors from 6-8:00 p.m. Thursday.
A memorial service is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Claremore.
Townsend will be buried with full military honors at Lone Chapel Cemetery in Adair.
His family has asked the public to turn out and show their support for his sacrifice.
They have also asked for donations to a fund for a headstone in his honor.
Donations can be made to the Jon Townsend Memorial Fund at any area RCB Bank location.